Microsoft awarded Pentagon's controversial JEDI contract

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Microsoft has beaten Amazon to win the controversial $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud contract from the US Department of Defense.

A year ago, Microsoft employees were trying to discourage the company from bidding for the contract over concerns that the technology is develops could "be used for waging war". The DoD confirmation that the "contract will address critical and urgent unmet warfighter requirements for modern cloud infrastructure" will do nothing to calm these fears.

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Previously, Microsoft defended its bid, saying "we believe in the strong defense of the United States and we want the people who defend it to have access to the nation's best technology, including from Microsoft".

This weekend, the company voiced its "appreciation" at being awarded the contract, saying "we look forward to expanding our longstanding partnership with DoD".

In a statement about the contract, the DoD says:

Over the last two years the Department of Defense has awarded more than $11 billion across 10 separate cloud contracts. As we continue to execute the DOD Cloud Strategy, additional contracts are planned for both cloud services and complementary migration and integration solutions necessary to achieve effective cloud adoption.

Today the Department of Defense has taken another step forward in the implementation of our Cloud Strategy with the award of an enterprise general-purpose cloud contract to Microsoft.  This continues our strategy of a multi-vendor, multi-cloud environment as the department's needs are diverse and cannot be met by any single supplier. This contract will address critical and urgent unmet warfighter requirements for modern cloud infrastructure at all three classification levels delivered out to the tactical edge.

This award is the conclusion of a process that began with the release of the first RFI to industry nearly two years ago. Throughout that time, the department's focus never wavered from the need to support our warfighters with this essential capability.

The acquisition process was conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The process cleared review by the GAO and Court of Federal Claims.  At the outset the competition included four different offerors.  All offerors were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation's stated evaluation criteria. Prior to the award, the department conferred with the DOD Inspector General, which informed the decision to proceed.

The base contract period is two years with a $1 million guarantee.  The department projects that user adoption will drive an estimated $210 million of spending during the two year base period. The DOD will rigorously review contract performance prior to the exercise of any options.

The Department continues to assess and pursue various cloud contracting opportunities to diversify the capabilities of the DoD Enterprise Cloud Environment. Additional contracting opportunities are anticipated.

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